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Grandson bitten at playschool

(76 Posts)
faye17 Thu 14-Oct-21 08:42:37

Help please!
My three-year-old grandson was bitten by a class-mate on Monday in playschool.
We're all very upset but trying to handle it calmly.
Our little guy was very upset but he did go back to school the following day.
Having been in lockdown - at home with parents working from home from age 18 months, he was tearful first two days when he started playschool in September but quickly adjusted and looked forward to going each day. Now he is saying he doesn't want togo.
I'm unsure how to talk to him about what happened on Monday and would really appreciate your thoughts and advice please

LovelyCuppa Mon 18-Oct-21 15:53:51

I mean this kindly but perhaps you could look into increasing resilience for yourself. There are lots of helpful resources online to help with this.

faye17 Sat 16-Oct-21 18:17:53

Hear hear Gabrielle 56

Grammaretto Sat 16-Oct-21 10:30:25

DD was bitten at playgroup by another toddler, both aged about 2 and a half. He was trying to get her out of the toy car. His bite drew blood and tears. I comforted her as the little boy triumphantly drove off in the car.

The biter's mum was eventually found drinking hot tea and smoking a cigarette in the kitchen of the hall. I told her to keep an eye on her child. Instead she came into the hall , grabbed her son and hit him across his face while shouting at him. This will have been at least 10 minutes after the biting incident.

This is how NOT to behave. I withdrew my DD from that playgroup and sent her to a proper, staff led one.

I still see that woman and her family about the town 30 years later.

Witzend Sat 16-Oct-21 10:15:26

Little Gdd was regularly scratched on her face at nursery, by a little girl with autism, who Gdd still played with anyway.

The staff always logged it, were very apologetic, and did try to prevent it, but it must have been very difficult.

I can’t say dd was happy about it, but I think much of her sympathy was with the parents of the little girl, who must have been so mortified.
Gdd did seem to accept that the little girl couldn’t help it - at any rate, I remember her arriving at Gdd’s 4th birthday party, and Gdd, bless her, giving her a hug.

Gabrielle56 Sat 16-Oct-21 10:09:08

Observation on those who say fayel7 is "too involved" with DGS !- if more people were "involved" with the generations within their own families maybe the "not my problem" gen who look other way, don't get "involved" when they witness any bad behaviours (but are the first to film it?) Would become extinct? Here hoping! "Too involved" indicates trying to influence/dictate/undermine, to all those looking in other direction- hope to goodness you're not the one getting beaten up in a crowd of ignoring shoppers?

Gabrielle56 Sat 16-Oct-21 10:03:20

My sis bit her young DD when she bit my little DS so hard she bruised and broke his skin on his shoulder!!! It worked! Sis is a senior NNEB with 50 yrs in nurseries and used various now 'outdated' methods, making foul mouthed kids bite on soap(!) Having a "I'm sorry" session at the end of nursery session, which instilled in them to reflect on their actions and to appreciate the effect they had on others! Kids knew their place and purpose and how they fit into little society of family and nursery .There ya go! her little uns were always enthusiastic and never a complaint from ANY parent! She qualified in Salford in 1972........ Happy kids happy days

faye17 Sat 16-Oct-21 00:26:06

'The same poster 'should read 'another poster'

faye17 Sat 16-Oct-21 00:03:19

GrandmaKT - grandson's playschool handled it exactly as you describe including not giving biter's name ... grandson has named him while telling us about it as any child would
Playschool staff also got both boys to play together after the incident before they went home the same day.
Grandson has been in playschool every day since the incident and his parents say he seems to be settling back in.
Neither his parents nor us grandparents have talked about the incident in his presence except on the two occasions he brought it up himself when we sympathised with him, hugged him, and told him he didn't have to play with that boy if he doesn't want to at any time.
Considering this is my grandson's ( as many others) first real foray into playing/being with other children due to Covid & the fact that up to six months ago he was an only child I think he is a very brave little boy and I am immensely proud of him.
Having chatted with him about the new friends he would meet in September I personally found it upsetting that this was what happened.
I am well aware that it is an isolated incident and that his experience there otherwise is positive and happy .
Hopefully that will continue to be the case.
I'm no shrinking violet and have had to deal with very tough issues both as a child and in my adult life so I'm well aware my grandson will have his share of bumps in the road.
This incident happened on Monday of this week and I came on here looking for advice on how to speak to my grandson about it in the best way.
Happy to say I got lots of good, sensible advice which is what I needed and I thank you very much for that.
In the telling I did say that I couldn't look at the bite as I would have burst out crying. So I did the sensible thing when he showed me and remained calm for him. I didn't act on my feelings but that does not
make them invalid or pathetic ( as one poster said)
The same poster said I was over-involved with my grandson; a lot to read from my expression of how I felt on being faced with my beloved little grandson's bitten arm.. ... but hey, you win some you lose some 😊

GrandmaKT Fri 15-Oct-21 20:06:26

My sister was headteacher at a nursery school. The policy there if a child was bitten was to deal with the incident as it happened, make the biter apologise etc, record it in the incident book, and tell both parents at home time, BUT they would not tell the parents of the bitten child who the biter was. (Sometimes these things get out of hand and cause issues between parents).
They had a pair of twins one year, The conversation went like this:
Teacher: I'm afraid there was an incident at nursery today, Matthew was bitten by another child.
Parent: Who was it?
Teacher: We cannot tell you that.
Teacher: Also there was an incident today, Michael bit another child..... grin

Happysexagenarian Fri 15-Oct-21 19:48:11

I've experienced this from both sides. My eldest, then aged 2 1/2, bit another child at playgroup who was trying to take a toy off him. I guess he saw it as the quickest way to make him let go! He was expelled from playgroup until he learned some manners. I found another playgroup. I don't think he ever bit anyone else.

Second son (about 7) was bitten by an older girl because he wouldn't play with her. She actually drew blood. Son hit her. I let the school deal with it. On that occasion I didn't think he had done anything wrong. Both of them were reprimanded and the girl sent home not to return till the following Monday. Son had to have a Tetanus injection!

grandtanteJE65 Fri 15-Oct-21 18:28:11

If you and the child's parents are satisfied with the way the pre-school has handled the matter, and want at the boy to go back, then make as little of the incident as possible.

If hesays he doesn't want to go, say, "Oh, why not? If he says " because N bit me." say, "Yes, but he has promised not to do it again, and you can play with the others"

Alis52 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:48:08

You have my sympathies. An unhappy situation - what a nasty shock for your poor GS when playmates turn out to be capable of inflicting such pain.

From my perspective as a parent of a biter I can only say it was horrendous for other children and a nightmare for the parents including me. He’d bite adults as well given half a chance.
Nothing would deter my son - I really did try everything - except other children who would bite back. I recall one incident when he sunk his teeth into a little boy’s shoulder who sunk his teeth into my son’s opposite shoulder at the same time and there they stayed for a full five minutes because his mum (a seasoned mother of three) insisted we let them see it through by themselves. She said it was lovely to finally meet a child who’d retaliate in kind and they’d both learn something. She was right. Eventually they separated and eyed each other with wary respect from that point onwards.

Occasionally my son did have very good reason to defend himself or his friends (he was very protective of certain playmates) but usually there was no provocation at all - he just seemed to enjoy sinking his teeth into nice juicy flesh. I think he did know on one level it was wrong but it felt good and it was a satisfying way of showing how he felt when frustrated and angry.

I’d reassure your child that this probably won’t happen again but to avoid the biter in future. Social ostracism isn’t a nice punishment but a seasoned biter is very hard for anyone to manage and frankly, however small, they do need to know their actions have consequences even if it takes time for the penny to drop - they’re not stupid and I’m convinced they know it’s wrong but they keep forgetting. I ended up not going to any playgroups between ages of 2 and 3 years as it was simply too stressful for everyone and he only socialised with other children who would stand up to him. Thankfully by age of 3.5 he’d grown out of it otherwise I really wouldn’t have blamed local nurseries if they’d banned him.

Your GC needs to know if they have any problems the staff will be there to console and protect but they shouldn’t be made to play with the biter if they don’t want to. Even young children have a right to establish boundaries appropriate for them.

Btw: there is hope if you have chronic biters in the family- my son is now in his 20s and is a gentle giant of a man.

User7777 Fri 15-Oct-21 15:36:16

We have a biter in our family. Our child is autistic, and knows they did it but doesnt know why. Staff generally head off the behaviour by distraction before it happens. Our darling, can't help it but does have a classroom assistant, just for themselves. But it does happen, and apologising to the other child is a start. It must have been distressing for your GC.

4allweknow Fri 15-Oct-21 14:16:16

His parents should let staff know your GS's reluctance to go to playschool. They should take further steps to reassure him he is safe. Hopefully the biter was made to say sorry and that it was a one off incident. Children do bite, unfortunately your GS was a victim.

Mallin Fri 15-Oct-21 14:14:39

There have been some little pests met in supermarkets who I’d be tempted to bite !!!!!!!! One 4 yr old brat suddenly grabbed my walking stick and swiped me with it. Thank heavens there was something I could grab hold of or I’d have gone down. Must admit that I bent double and screamed in his ear. Oh! Never thought I could have bitten him!!!!! Child and parent was escorted quietly from store and both told to learn manners before inflicting themselves on normal people Thank you MATALAN for your staffs quick, quiet and sensible handling of brat and brats mother.

kevincharley Fri 15-Oct-21 13:49:29

Play it down. The bigger deal you make of it the worse he'll perceive it.

JaneJudge Fri 15-Oct-21 13:43:19

I think all of mine bit or got bit at some point, it is ever so common

mrsgreenfingers56 Fri 15-Oct-21 13:41:00

Some children go through a biting stage and although not nice doesn't usually carry on. I was looking after my little niece one day and she came up and bit my arm so hard I jumped up. I took her arm and bit it (not as hard!) and she never did it again!

allule Fri 15-Oct-21 13:27:42

Just remembered another occasion when my toddler daughter had a ring of red marks on her arm. I showed it to a neighbour, and we looked it up and decided she had ringworm.
So it was a relief when another neighbour came to apologise that her son had bitten her!

Rosina Fri 15-Oct-21 13:26:08

These things happen with children - let's be honest, they are like little animals who gradually (hopefully) become socialised about what to do and not to do, and biting is what some children do. Feeling tearful and overwrought about it isn't going to help the GC - quite the reverse.

allule Fri 15-Oct-21 13:24:34

I remember my daughter being horrified when called into playgroup and told there had been a ‘biting incident’.
When she found her son was the bitten, not the biter, her only feelings were of relief.

Humduh Fri 15-Oct-21 12:47:24

I think the biter probably started biting at home and hopefully this means it will be dealt with there

coastalgran Fri 15-Oct-21 12:45:28

Sounds like everyone is trying to put an older head on very young shoulders, let him forget the incident, enjoy playing and being with friends and get on with being a tot.

oodles Fri 15-Oct-21 11:38:41

Unfortunately more children than you'd imagine bite. Certainly the parents of the biter need to know, and the playgroup leaders need to keep a very close eye on the biter so that no one else gets bitten. It needs careful treatment, the biter doesn't know how much it hurts, and has to learn that it does hurt [NOT by biting him back] and how to handle frustration/whatever triggers it. Not surprised that your grandson doesn't want to go back, so important to work with the staff. If they don't seem concerned about it, that might be a red flag, what else do they condone, and is that acceptable to his parents.
Sympathise with him, reassure him that what he had happen was wrong and that people will help [assuming that you have been reassured that they will. ] Would he be better in a smaller setting maybe, if the problem persists [which I hope it doesn't]

Yammy Fri 15-Oct-21 11:30:04

As an exInfants teacher check with the school and ask if they have informed the parents of the child. Did your grandson tell the teacher he had been bitten? Tell him to tell everything that happens to him and check that the child has apologised and why he was bitten in the first place.
Take it slow and calm but get all the facts from your grandson before you approach the school though as it is Friday I think I would mention it to them and find out if they knew about it and how they had dealt with it.